01 Oct 2022

Longford's Mall litter warden could be 'our eyes and ears'

Longford's Mall litter warden could be 'our eyes and ears'

Efforts to appoint a dedicated litter warden to Longford's Albert Reynolds Peace Park will have to wait until next year due to local authority financial constraints.

Cllr Peggy Nolan had sought approval for a parks warden to oversee authoritative duties at the popular public amenity.

 The Fine Gael politician said she was seeking the appointment in response to growing unease from regular patrons of the facility.

 “Everyone knows the Mall is the jewel in the crown of our county town and there are people who are concerned that while the Mall is not in a state of disrepair, it could fall into a state of disrepair,” she added.  

Cllr Nolan said her former colleagues on the now defunct Longford Town Council had all but signed off on the measure.

Three years on, the experienced public representative said the onus was now on the County Council to follow through on those efforts.

“As far as I am concerned this was almost over the line at the  Town Council,” she said.

 “We need it (park warden) now, we need a park warden that will be the eyes and ears of the Council.

“It's long overdue and when I was down there a couple of days last week I was stopped on at least five occasions by civic minded people who had concerns.”

Cllr Nolan said her call to arms was not entirely driven by negative connotations, laying claim to the €18,000 upgrading of the park's present lighting mix.

  She qualified those remarks however, by cautioning against the Council adopting a laissez fair approach to the issue.

“I know there is a new rejuvenation plan down there but we need somebody in situ that can tell people you can't litter and to clean up after dogs,” she advised.

Cllr Nolan went a step further, saying any prospective warden needed to be given the authority to issue monetary fines.

They were overtures which were given further weight by Independent Cllr Gerry Warnock.

“We (Council) could do worse than organise an entire parks department within our infrastructural department,” he said.

Cllr Warnock said its creation made sense  given the onset of a new 1916 memorial garden directly across from the Council's civic headquarters, the Royal Canal and flood of public green areas throughout the town.

 “If you had a dedicated department it would tick a lot of boxes,” he insisted, prior to seeking approval for the issue to be thrashed out at county council level.

Cllr Mae Sexton said she was in broad agreement with her fellow elected members as she bemoaned the lack of flower baskets which were now evident along the town's Market Square.

Not stopping there, Cllr Sexton  likewise took aim at the shabby condition of a roundabout located just outside Newtownforbes.

Taking umbrage at the apparent lack of attention it had received in recent times, Cllr Sexton said the circular intersection hadn't  been touched “since God was a child”.

Cllr John Browne was another to take an environmental swipe at the actions of those who engage in fly tipping.

“There are certain areas at the back of Main Street where dumping is going on,” he stated.

In a bid to deter suspected perpatrators, Cllr Browne raised the prospect of council chiefs examining the possibility of installing mobile cameras .

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